With the technological and behavioural landscapes in healthcare changing faster than ever before, experts apply their knowledge to identifying future trends that may introduce radical advancements within the industry. In October, during a Becker's Hospital Review event in Chicago, panelists discussed several important trends in healthcare innovation and consumerism.
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Adaptation to Competitive Delivery Times
One of the trends outlined at the event was that for health systems and care delivery organisations to succeed, they must be competitive in terms of retail healthcare delivery times. In other words, they should develop efficient processes through incorporation of the latest technology and creation of such a culture that welcomes innovation.
An example of how competitive the market is becoming (listed in the
recent Time’s overview of revolutionary healthcare technologies and concepts) is
Walmart’s expansion into the sector. In September 2019, the world’s biggest
retailer opened its first Health Center, a ‘medical mall’ providing
services such as primary care, vision tests, laboratory tests, counselling, and
many more for affordable price. If this initiative succeeds, repercussions will
be numerous and omnipresent as medical professionals will have to adjust to the
retailer’s everyday low prices.
The Nature of True Innovation
To be truly disruptive, technology in healthcare should be applied appropriately, the panellists pointed out. If this is achieved, it will lead to radical changes in the current model of care delivery and allow for cost decrease for all stakeholders.
for the delivery of medical essentials, like drugs and transfusable
blood, has been
a recent hype and an evident case of a proper application. UPS have been
granted the approval to expand to 20 hospitals around the U.S. over the next
two years, while Wing, a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is
collaborating with Walgreens and FedEx, and Zipline, a California-based startup,
is delivering medical supplies in Ghana and Rwanda.
Power of a Gadget
More people rely on their phones for various tasks. The experts believe that access to healthcare services may soon be one of them in terms of interaction between a consumer and healthcare providers, visit arrangements (real-life or virtual) or bill payment. Healthcare personal management is gravitating towards the same ease as is present in today’s personal banking.
In this regard, numerous wearable and pocket-sized devices that connect to a smartphone may help to democratise healthcare on multiple dimensions. It may also lead to a significant decrease in doctors’ time spent on a patient or even protect the staff fromviolence.
Pricing and Payments Changes
services and products are more attractive to consumers if the costs are known
upfront, the panellists agreed. With bundled payments and price transparency some ambulatory surgery centres find
it easier to market their service to patients while consumers are more
protected from possible market abuse.
Prudent Technological Advance
new technology may be challenging for staff and physicians. Therefore, as was
discussed at the panel, CIOs and project leaders strive to balance the additional
administrative burden. A good example of how a technology may be overwhelming
is the use of medical scribes — professionals who document
physician-patient encounters during clinical visits — by some clinicians which
helps to reduce the time spent managing electronic health records and increase
the number of patients seen.
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